New Zealand: The Perfect Place to Start a Family

Many people choose to emigrate for economic reasons, employment and better weather but for parents and couples wishing to start a family, another strong factor in their decision to emigrate to New Zealand is the fact that New Zealand is widely considered to be a family friendly country. It's also one of the top reasons that Kiwis who live abroad, return home because New Zealand offers families opportunities that other countries do not. Let's look in more detail as to why New Zealand is a family friendly country.

Top Rated Education

New Zealand was ranked 11th in the Education Development Index publicised by UNESCO in 2008, which is above Australia, Germany, Sweden, Ireland and America and is 5th in the Human Development Index of 2011, beating the UK which was 28th.

In fact New Zealand was described as being "a top performing country (for) the quality of its educational system" by the OECD 2011 Better Life report.

Universities also do well with 75% of New Zealand Universities ranked in the top 500 of the QS Times Higher Education World.

You can discover more about education in New Zealand from the NZ government site.

Childcare in New Zealand

The Inland Revenue in New Zealand allows for mothers to take up to 14 weeks of parental leave on full pay and this could well extend to 26 weeks if the Labour government gets its way. Partners get up to 2 weeks of paid paternity leave. Extended leave of up to 38 weeks is available to eligible employees.

The government also have a childcare subsidy in place for low earning working parents which can entitle you to up to 50 hours of childcare a week.

Childcare options in New Zealand include education services such as nurseries and pre-schools; home based care like registered child carers or nannies. Plunket is the largest organisation of support services for children and lists many useful resources.

Children's Healthcare in New Zealand

From birth to adulthood, children are well looked after in New Zealand. Many healthcare services are free for children and this includes free basic dental care, immunisations, eyesight and hearing checks and GP visits.

Plunket nurses also provide home visits, mobile clinics and a free telephone service for parents.

Welfare System

New Zealand has a generous welfare system for residents who have been living in New Zealand permanently for at least 2 years. The system, which has been in place since the 1930s, provides accident cover, maternity leave, sickness benefits, unemployment benefits and state pensions. A full list of New Zealand benefits is listed on the Work and Income site.

Outdoor Life in New Zealand

Most of the migrants who have moved to New Zealand all list the enthusiasm for outdoor life as one of the marked differences between NZ and countries such as the UK and America. There is more emphasis on sports at school and generally children appear to have a better quality of outdoor life. This Survey of Young New Zealand Children and Sport confirm that sport and outdoor activities play a huge role in the lives of children living in New Zealand.

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